Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation

Overview

Easter


Quick Reference

The most important and oldest festival of the Christian Church, celebrating the resurrection of Christ and held (in the Western Church) between 21 March and 25 April, on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the northern spring equinox.

The name is recorded from Old English (in form ēastre) and is of Germanic origin, related to east. According to Bede the word is derived from Ēastre, the name of a goddess associated with spring.

Easter bunny an imaginary rabbit said to bring gifts of Easter eggs to children at Easter, deriving (in popular folklore) from the association of the rabbit with fertility.

Easter egg an artificial chocolate egg or decorated hard-boiled egg given at Easter, especially to children.

Easter Rising the uprising in Dublin and other cities in Ireland against British rule, Easter 1916. It ended with the surrender of the protesters, and the execution of their leaders.

Easter Sepulchre a recess in certain medieval churches for keeping the Eucharistic elements from Good Friday until the Easter festivities.

Easter term a term in the courts of law, formerly movable and occurring between Easter and Whitsuntide, but now fixed within a certain period; in the older universities, a term formerly occurring between Easter and Whitsuntide and now included in the Trinity term; in some universities and schools, the term between Christmas and Easter.


Reference Entries

View all reference entries »